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Simpson apologises as Beetham Tower continues to 'hum'

Ian Simpson has said sorry for the ‘distress’ caused by the noise which his Beetham Tower continues to make - despite numerous attempts to solve the problem

According to the Manchester Evening News, the ‘low hum’ generated as high winds gusted through the glass blade at the top of the 47-storey tower earlier this week kept city centre residents awake, leading to a ‘string of complaints’ to Manchester City Council’s environmental health officers.

The Beetham Tower has suffered from noise problems linked to the blade - which serves no practical function - for a number of years. A major effort to resolve the issues was carried out in February 2010 (see below).

Speaking to the local newspaper Simpson, who lives at the top of the £150 million skyscraper his practice designed, said: ‘I am completely aware of the noise. I would like to apologise for that and we are looking to address it so that next year we don’t have the same problem.’

He added: ‘At the end of the day it’s not supposed to make noise. We have got to address it because it’s causing distress.’

City Centre councillor Kevin Peel contacted Environmental Health officials yesterday after receiving dozens of complaints.

Peel said: ‘Environmental health has a duty to respond to this because it’s a noise nuisance. It [the blade] doesn’t serve any logical purpose and it’s disturbing the residents. I think they should take the damn thing off.’

Previous story (AJ 02.02.10)

Simpson’s Beetham tower to finally lose its ‘hum’

The people of Manchester may finally have some relief from the ‘whistling’ noise coming from the city’s tallest building.

Scaffolding has appeared around Ian Simpson Architect’s 47-storey Beetham Tower to support works to reduce the noise being generated by the building’s blade structure in gusty conditions, according to developer The Beetham Organization.

The Beetham Tower has suffered from the ‘high-pitched’ sound – allegedly close to a standard musical C (approximately 262 Hertz) – for a number of years.

Shortly after it was topped out in 2006, the makers of soap opera Coronation Street, Granada TV, complained that the din made by the wind running off Beetham Tower’s blade was disturbing filming.

Although the developers behind the £150 million scheme had made previous attempts to rectify the problem, local residents continued to complain about the ‘UFO-like’ noise coming from the steel structure when the wind blew in certain directions.

A Beetham spokesman said: ‘The works being carried out are required to reduce the noise levels generated within the blade structure under wind loading.’

The latest work started last month and will last for six to eight weeks.

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